James L. Atherton of Cedar Rapids, passed away Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011 at his home at Cottage Grove Place at the age of 84. Visitation was held on Saturday, December 17, 2011 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints First Ward located at 4300 Trail Ridge Road SE in Cedar Rapids at 12:00 PM. The memorial service followed at 1:00 p.m.
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James was born in Cedar Rapids, on July 12th, 1927, son of Ralph E. Atherton and Inez Schrader Tessman Atherton. James joined the U.S. Navy and while attending electronics school received a fleet appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, but at the end of WWII chose to attend Iowa State University were he graduated with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Dairy Science. He was a member of Pi Tau Sigma, Phi Kappa Psi and Alpha Phi Omega fraternities.
He was married to Barbara Hart Butterfield on Sept. 2, 1950 who passed on Sept. 5, 2005. On Sept. 20, 2008 he married Skippy Bell who he met at Cottage Grove Place.
James was active in football, basketball, track, band and the math club. He loved hunting, fishing, camping and spending time influencing his children and grandchildren. He was a lifelong supporter of the Boy Scouts, where he received his Eagle Scout and served as chairman of the Potawatomi BSA counsel. He was active in the Rotary Club, having served three terms as president for two chapters.
In August of 1951, he took a job with Carnation Company as a management trainee for the Evaporated Milk Division and after 40 years service, retired having become the superintendent of the Instant Products Division.
James is survived by his wife, Skippy Bell Atherton, his brother Paul Atherton (Susan), his four children, Diane Manglani (Roger), Cindy Fortmann (Donald), and Douglas (Venita) and David (Laura) Atherton. He also leaves behind three step-children: Dana McManus (Dr. John), Jim (Jo) and John Bell, and seven grandchildren: Brian and Christopher Fortmann, Erica Manglani, Jessica, Kristen, and Scott Atherton, and Karthar Galanti, two step-grandchildren: Heather and Luke McManus, and one step-great-grandchild, Ellie Jacobs.
He was preceded in death by his wife Barbara and his parents: Ralph and Inez Atherton.
Memorials may be sent in his name to Boy Scouts of America Hawkeye Council, 660 32nd Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
Messages, tributes or memories may be posted at www.cedarmemorial.com.
Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from Dec. 23 to Dec. 30, 2011